Monday, May 31, 2010

She's Got Skills

Katie is learning so fast it simply blows us away. She listens to everything around her and often repeats back what we've said. I think she's practicing and trying out how new words sound. Sometimes she'll come up to us and make a teeth brushing motion to let us know that she wants to brush her teeth. By now she can name most of her body parts although she still calls her nose her "beep" since everyone used to beep her nose.

Daniel is a great dad and it's good that he's more adventurous than me because I'd be too afraid to let the kids try most things. He's the one that let Katie try out the big girl swing at just over a year old. Of course she loved it and did just fine. Now she can even "spider" with Danya on the swing. I may have my heart in my throat watching it but I'm so glad that Daniel doesn't let me instill my fearfulness in the kids. He reminds me that educating our children isn't just about teaching them what's in a book.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Sidetracked Home Executive in Training

This book is the one that inspired the FlyLady that so many people like. I've tried both plans and this one seems to work best for our family so far. If you're like me, highly distractible, but with
good intentions then you might be a S.H.E., a Sidetracked Home Executive. I read the key points of this book out loud to Daniel and we agreed to try it together. We spent a date night last weekend buying the card file and cards. It took a couple of hours at a Starbucks setting it up together, writing out the cards, and prioritizing our family activities.

On Monday we called and canceled the maid service we'd been paying to help us with the bigger home cleaning tasks and dove head first into the system. In our card file we included not only cleaning and home maintenance cards, but also cards for our daily homeschooling. At the back of the box we put sections with the kids' names on them, so that the older girls can look through their cards each day. They've all been really proud of completing the jobs and moving the cards as they do them. We're finally getting them to brush their teeth and make their beds consistently. It's a good visual plan for us, and I don't have to have any charts hanging on the walls, which I've always disliked because of the cluttered look they create.

Here's a website that has great ideas for following the system. It's called 21 Essays to S.H.E.
Now, I'm off to clean out my fridge... because the card says it's time.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Katies First Goose Egg

While we were at Lakeside Amusement Park we let Katie ride all kinds of rides that we never would have let our oldest ride at that age. It's definitely a different experience with your last baby compared to your first.

One of the last things I let her ride was a turtle ride with a circular metal bench and no seat belts. I put her between Shane and Kevin and thought she'd be okay. As soon as the ride started she fell forward and cracked her head on the metal seat in front of her. She looked okay at first but five minutes later she had grown an enormous goose egg on her forehead.

We figured she was okay since she was smiling and waving at everyone. She demanded to be put on more rides, so we just let her keep going. She's quite the little tank.

Lakeside Double Birthday

Some friends of ours invited us to a double birthday party for two of their kids. Their son, Jimmy, had a super hero party so all the boys wore super hero clothes, although Shane left his mask in the van. This was Katie's first time to ride most of these rides.

All the kids had fun running around to the different rides and spinning themselves sick. Daniel rode with them, but I chose to just be the photographer. Still, by the end of the day my ankle was killing me. I'm really wondering if my ankle never healed quite right, because it frequently stiffens up and I can't get it to bend at all. I'm sick of limping around the house in pain any time I've walked around too much or gone up and down the stairs too many times.

That morning, before the party, I also got to spend an hour at a used book fair in Arvada. I found several good deals including the entire collection of Felicity American Girl books for a dollar and all six levels of Writing Strands (which Danya really enjoys) for $10. Normally each of those books costs twenty bucks new. Somehow I managed to leave the building with an armload of books and only spent about $15 total. It was a good day.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Katie is Walking!

videoWe've known that Katie was capable of walking for quite some time now. She simply refused to. She could push toys while walking behind them and she could hold our finger and walk beside us, but she would stubbornly refuse to walk on her own. If we tried to make her walk she would throw herself down on the floor and cry angrily.

That's why it was such a surprise when she suddenly decided to walk at McDonald's on the last day of school. We were hanging out waiting for the awards ceremony and picnic that morning when she just started walking. Sadly, only Kevin and I were there to see it. So I recorded her walking for proof. Then when we got to the school we showed her brother and sisters her new trick. She was proudly walking and waving.

Then for some reason she refused to do it again for three days. Today she started walking again and hasn't stopped yet. It's so cute to see her wobbling around the house. I'm just so relieved that she's finally walking at 15 months old.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Missing Missy

My former neighbor from Oklahoma, Missy, came to visit us recently. She's a flight attendant and had a layover in Denver last week. I picked her up from the airport and took her to an Italian restaurant I'd never been to before. The food was amazing.

Then she hung out at our house for a few hours while we talked, looked at pictures of our (hopefully) new house, and took a walk to the park with our kids. Then I dropped her off at a hotel in Denver so she could catch a few hours of sleep before her next flight.

It was so good just to catch up and laugh and trade funny stories about our kids. Her daughters, Sydney and Sara are the same age as my girls Danya and Gloria.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Soccer Champ

Our former foster daughter, Molly, invited us to watch her play in the championship soccer game in Westminster. Unfortunately, it was pouring rain, so we all huddled under the bleachers for about half an hour waiting for her to get sent in. Since she plays defense, she doesn't get to play much, I think. We ended up leaving early because I was afraid the kids (especially Katie) were going to get sick out in the freezing cold and rain.

We took Molly's little sister, Selina, with us to Fazoli's for kids' night and then brought her home. It was really good to see both of the girls again. We miss them.

Moving?


We were supposed to be buying this house in Brighton next week. But yesterday we found out that all our plans are on hold because the buyer on our current home fell through. Now we have to sign an extension agreement on the contract on our (hopefully) new home to kick out the purchase to the end of June. In the meantime we'll be trying like crazy to get our current house under contract again and sold. That means we'll have to keep it spotless, leave at a moment's notice, and go through the whole process of having it inspected, appraised, etc. all over again with a new buyer. We're also dropping the price in order to hopefully sell it faster without any hitches.

Danya is very disappointed because she was planning to have her 10th birthday slumber party in her new home. I don't think the younger kids understand time well enough to really get what's going on. Daniel and I are both sort of at loose ends, not knowing what's going to happen now. If we don't get a buyer fast than we'll end up losing the contract on this beautiful house and have to start searching for a home all over again. I know God has a plan for us, but patience is hard when you can't see the big picture.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

The Graduate...A.K.A. Our Sarah

Waaaah!! I mean, congratulations, Sarah. We're so proud of you.

Our babysitter, Sarah, has graduated high school at the top of her class and earned a full ride scholarship to Denver University. We're really happy that she's still going to be living in Colorado, but it feels like our oldest daughter just reached adulthood and is moving away. Sarah has been a part of our family for almost four years now. It's been a pleasure watching her grow into a beautiful, talented, confident young woman. Our children love her like a big sister and Katie thinks Sarah is her other mom. I'm sure Kevin must think the same thing since the other day he asked me, "When was I adopted?" Poor guy, it must be confusing growing up in this family.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Cleaning Mouse

Brianna was in a musical dance production of Cinderella at her Friday Options school for homeschoolers. She played one of the Cleaning Mice and did a little cleaning dance. It was very cute. She makes an adorable mouse.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Oklahoma Family

It always seems too long between visits to see our family and friends in Oklahoma. We managed to squeeze in a whirlwind visit to Oklahoma at the tail end of our vacation. We blew in on Friday and left on Sunday morning. In that amount of time we managed to:

1. Visit three of our friends' families
2. The girls rode in a parade with their beauty queen cousin
3. Went to a homeschool convention in OKC to see a few friends
4. Had lunch in Bricktown with my friend, Glenda
5. Visited both sets of grandparents' houses
6. Celebrated Mother's Day with two grandmas and also Grandpa Wayne and Danya's birthdays early

Plus a few miscellaneous events like the older two girls having a sleepover at their cousins' house and swimming in the hotel pool, playing frisbee at the park with Grandpa Clint's dog, etc. It was all very fun and chaotic. My one regret is that I didn't get to spend more time with my friend, Betsy. I only got to see her for a few minutes at the convention. Maybe in November when we go back again.